In a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue, the Hawaii congressional delegation has asked for “much needed relief” to farmers and agricultural producers “who were uniquely affected” by the Kilauea eruption.

A press release from U.S. Sens. Brian Schatz and Mazie Hirono and U.S. Reps. Ed Case and Tulsi Gabbard explains, “Unlike farmers impacted by floods and wildfires, Hawaii producers faced unique losses — including permanent loss of land — due to lava inundation.”

Lava shoots into the night sky from active fissures on the lower east rift of the Kilauea volcano, Tuesday, May 15, 2018, near Pahoa, Hawaii. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones)

Lava shooting into the night sky from active fissures on the lower east rift of the Kilauea volcano, May 15, 2018. The natural disaster was devastating to many on Hawaii Island.


The letter, dated Friday, said the lava activity in 2018 “was the most destructive volcanic eruption” that the United States has experienced in over 30 years.

“It destroyed homes, roads, farms, and entire communities on Hawaii Island,” the legislators wrote.

The letter does not identify a dollar figure for the support but does state that compensation from existing disaster assistance programs is inadequate to the needs of the Big Island.

This is the fourth time the delegation has written to Perdue seeking flexibility about Kilauea.

“We have been disappointed with the responses to date,” the letter explains.

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